"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God." ~~Corrie Ten Boom

Hi all,

I hope everyone's doing well and able to enjoy some nice weather... at least sometimes!  Right now it's beautiful but we may get snow here tomorrow.  Eeek!

Anyway, I've been working ahead on some story things so wanted to make this newsletter easy on myself which meant... tropes!  And I ended up focusing on a few of my favorite things: family, food/drinks, and animals! 

God bless,

More Dyeland Tropes: A Few of My Favorite Things

Mum Looks Like a Sister- Max and JenniAnn occasionally raise some eye brows since she does look more like his sister than his mother.  But then that happens when your mom is only seven years older than you...  Max is, obviously, adopted. 

Practically Different Generations
- Not practically... really.  In Andrew's and JenniAnn's brood, Max is a Millennial (as is JenniAnn, actually), Violeta and Shelby are Gen Z, and Belle and Avi are Gen Alpha.

In the Blood- Lor, Vincent, and Avi all have very similar personality traits on top of sharing the same physical characteristics.  They're all pretty soft-spoken, bookish, and intensely loyal to their families though willing to rebel as gently as possible when those families stand between them and their romantic interest.  Once they fall in love, it's for life. 

Nephilim- This one was subverted.  Kind of.  While the Nephilim do exist in the Dyeland universe, they're fully human.  Because it's canon within the Dyeland stories (and my personal angelology) that angels cannot procreate, half-human, half-angel beings just don't make sense.  Even if the Nephilim are interpreted as the offspring of demons that still doesn't work because I fail to see how the acting of Falling would somehow produce eggs and sperm.  So...  In the stories, the Nephilim are those humans who were forced into the demons' horrific human trafficking operation leading up the Flood.  Basically, the demons were trying to create a master race by selective (forced) breeding.  And the Nephilim resulted.  Thus, the Nephilim are not necessarily evil.  If they aligned themselves with the demons, they ended up in Sheol for some time.  If they aligned themselves with Reuel's people, they ended up in El-Chanan where their descendants are still running around.  Eleora and her children with Cody would be descendants of the Nephilim.  And they're perfectly wonderful!

I Should Write a Book About This- In "The King," we learn that Shelby has written down the history of her family.  She and Jacob approach Andrew and JenniAnn with the idea of giving everyone aliases and publishing the book(s) with illustrations by Jacob so that others can learn about Joshua.  So... there's a more than good chance that the Dyeland stories are actually Shelby's The Anam Cara Chronicles in their initial form before she replaces all the names and identifying details. 

Spot of Tea- It's been brought to my attention that several non-British characters drink a lot of tea.  Well...  I drink a lot of tea.  While it's changed somewhat during the pandemic when I've largely been home with an array of beverage options, when I worked in my office I regularly drank four cups of tea every day.  So no wonder JenniAnn and several other characters are known to enjoy a spot of tea.  It remains to be seen how much tea Aziraphale and Crowley, the most British-esque characters, will drink.  But if they're at Willowveil, they can rest assured that JenniAnn will have an array of flavors for them to choose from. 

Warm Milk Helps You Sleep- While it can, assumedly, be enjoyed at any time, Maryam's spiced milk most often makes an appearance when someone either needs to sleep or just calm down.  The exact recipe is unknown.  One day I should probably figure it out although that would require finding out which ingredients would have been available in first century Galilee. 

Chocolate-Frosted Sugar Bombs- The Dyeland stories have a running gag that Joshua really likes Froot Loops.  Yes, they're unhealthy.  Yes, they're full of sugar.  Yes, I currently have some and there's a good probability I'll eat them for breakfast.  I just thought it was funny to think of Joshua having a preference for a kids' cereal and Froot Loops was chosen just so I could include the line "Froot Loops don't grow on trees" because I found that very amusing for some reason. 

Heartbreak and Ice Cream
- In "You'll Never Walk Alone," Andrew tells Takoda about how he ate a lot of ice cream during JenniAnn's and Eliot's relationship.  Upset about his own relationship with Joccy, Takoda then eats three bowls of ice cream. 

Adoring the Pests- In a bit of life imitates art, JenniAnn became very fond of some mice that invaded the stable.  To keep her from worrying about them, Andrew built an entire mouse village near the stable so that the little ones can be safe and well-fed.  And... I'm currently living with five mice who broke into my house.  They now reside in proper tanks with an abundance of toys. 

Animal Disguise
- Joshua does this in a manner.  While he does briefly appear in a lion costume for a Halloween story, in "Chrysalis" he actually becomes a lion named Zmaray.  He does this in order to earn the trust of Salma who, because of her background with a less than desirable husband and being trafficked, is reluctant to trust men. 

A Dog Named "Dog"- Speaking of Zmaray...  The name means lion in Pashto.  So, to Salma, Zmaray was a lion named Lion.  For what it's worth, Aslan also means lion.

Animal Metaphor
- JenniAnn tries to explain her asexuality to Andrew by saying she's "a bird who doesn't feel like a bird."  Somehow, he actually manages to follow the conversation.  Perhaps related to that conversation, Joshua's nickname for JenniAnn is "little bird."  It's maybe no coincidence that Violeta's nickname is Duckling... a type of little bird... since she's closely aligned with JenniAnn.

From Stray to Pet- Since the Friends' dogs and cats tend to be rescues, this could apply to any number of them.  But there was usually an intermediary person such as a local rescue organization or the Humane Society.  However, Reuel actually did adopt a wild Fennec fox later named Val Jean. 

This newsletter is dedicated to John Dye for making me obsessed with tropes.  I mean it is a harmless diversion... mostly.  I suppose they can make me a bit too analytical but still... fun!

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(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are from Touched by an Angel and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions.  They are not being used to seek profit.)